Revised: October 2019
ושם הנהר השני גיחון הוא הסובב את כל ארץ כוש׃
English: “The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.”
Commentary: Highlighted red, there are only two important words for the Literal Qabalist in this verse. The first (from the right) is גיחון, Gihon. And like Pishon, not a trace of neither supposed ‘river’ has ever been found, though there are maps on the Internet running all over the Middle-Eastern regions with speculations.
Now there is gematria and the other tools of the Qabalists surrounding all these words pointed out in the verses. Not all have been addressed with all those tools due to the length of detail. By now readers with the desire to know can use those various tools to glean a great deal more esoteric information. So is it with Gihon. For the sake of brevity, and more to the point, only the temurah tool will be used to investigate Gihon, the gematria of which sums to 77 (and/or 727 if Nun-final at 700 is used).
Transposing the letters in Gihon using temurah brings up the new number 389. You can check this yourself. Also summing to 389 and very relevant here is the Hebrew term מוגשם, mogasham, most frequently translated as ‘corporeal’, but literally meaning ‘incarnating, or materialized’. For the pointed purposes here this is the title of the 29th Path on the Tree of Life, שכל מוגשם, Sakel Mogasham, the ‘Corporeal Intelligence’. In the 32 Paths of Wisdom (attached to some versions of the Sepher Yetzirah) A. E. Waite comments:
“The 29th Path is called the Corporeal Intelligence; it informs every body which is incorporated under all orbs, and it is the growth thereof.”
This is to say that subconsciousness perfects the form of bodies under guidance of astrological influence. The 29th Path is attributed to Hebrew letter Qoph (ק), and in the Tarot this path and letter is illustrated by the Moon Key. Significant to the picture is the Moon, astrological symbol of the subconscious, surrounded in the dark sky by 18 Hebrew letter Yods colored half red, half yellow, symbolizing the blood tinted with the Spirit essence Ain Suph Aur. For it is the blood, charged by the alchemical process creating Aurum Potabile that transforms an ordinary human corpus into the regenerated physical vehicle of an accomplished adept. That ‘blood’ is דם, dam, the prepared blood, and the hidden intimation behind Gihon by their mutual gematria at 44. Furthermore, the root of Mogasham is גשם, geshem, meaning ‘to rain hard’; and as a noun, ‘a shower’. Thus the Yods in the sky of the Tarot Key. These hints lead the cognizant intellect to conclude Gihon is to the water element as Pishon is to fire.
Lastly, because it is so important and relevant here, one bit of gematria. The Greek ὁ λἱθος, ho lithos, ‘the stone’ also sums to 389 created from the intimations behind Gihon to complete בדלח, bedolah, the ‘crystal’ in verse 2:12.
These were never originally intended as actual river waters however much the interpreters and transliterates assumed through millennia. The same is to be said of the lands where the rivers flowed. The verb הסבב, hasobeb, in this verse has been examined previously in verse 2:11 and implies the same Qabalistically.
Over the years Biblical scholars and archaeologists have posited the illusive 'Land of Cush' in Mesopotamia, Ethiopia, Asia, India, Arabia, then again back in Iraq. Cush is כוש in Hebrew, the second word highlighted red in the above verse. The mere letters, individually and together, are wholly suggestive to the Literal Qabalist and require an entirely different approach to the enigma behind 'Cush'. To begin, each letter, ו ,כ, and ש need to be examined Qabalistically.
The first letter כ, Kaph, means 'hand', as in the act of grasping. The inference is one of 'comprehension', as with the 'grasp' of an idea or concept. Its numeral value is 20. This equals a verb חזה, chazah, 'to foresee, anticipate, predict'. On the Tree of Life the letter Kaph is assigned the 21st Path, which connects the 4th Sphere, Chesed, Mercy, with the 7th Sphere, Netzach, Victory. In the Sepher Yetzirah this path is named שכל ה-חפץ ה-מבופש, Saykel ha-Khayfetz ha-Meboqash, 'the Intelligence of Desirous Quest'. In Tarot the letter Kaph is attached to the Wheel of Fortune Key as is planet Jupiter astrologically. Finally, the letter, planet, and Tarot Key are all assigned to the face West on the Qabalistic Cube of Space.
Gathering all these hints from the simple letter-glyph כ, Kaph, a Literal Qabalist might surmise several thoughts. Firstly the path of Kaph on the Tree links the fourth sphere equated with beneficence, a Jupiterian influence, with the seventh sphere of the desire nature, a Venusian attribute. The West face of the Cube represents what is immediately before our eyes, “out there now,” and the conclusion in some semblance, hopefully, of a beneficent circumstance or condition effected by what was imagined from a previous desire. This was 'foreseen, predicted and anticipated' from hopes and dreams formulated in the East, at the back portion of the brain. The illusions we manifest for ourselves depend proportionally upon our grasp and comprehension of Divine Powers that flow through us. Another name for the 21st path is “The Rewarding Intelligence of Those Who Seek.” That we create and manifest peace and harmony, or strife and discord, is dependent upon the intent powering the initial imagery. If the matrix is in accordance with universal spiritual laws the outcome is most often harmonious and beneficent for all involved. To avoid repercussions of a discordant vein calls for discrimination in appraising our initial motives.
The second letter of Cush,ו, Vav, means 'nail'. The earliest form for this letter was fashioned from the Bronze Age shape of an actual nail. The inference behind 'nail' as a symbol is one of union in that a nail bonds one object to another in construction techniques. The letter by itself is used as the conjunction 'and' in Hebrew grammar. In this sense it also binds or conjoins words, phrases, or clauses of a sentence. Or ideas. As a numeral its value is 6. Equal to this is the noun גבא, gehbeh, 'cistern, reservoir', and as a verb, 'to collect'. On the Tree of Life the letter Vav is assigned the 16th path named שכל נצחי, Saykel Netzachi, the 'Triumphant or Eternal Intelligence.' In Tarot the letter Vav is attached to the Heirophant Key as is the astrological sign Taurus. Because of this Qabalists assign Intuition and Hearing to the Heirophant. The name of the path, the Heirophant, the letter Vav, the nail, and the sign Taurus all hint to Intuition as that uniting link. Intuition, inner hearing, is that mode of consciousness which unites self-consciousness with the collective super-conscious level deep within us. This is effected through sub-consciousness. Finally, letter, sign, and Tarot Key are all assigned to one edge on the Cube of Space, Southeast. If you are familiar with this Cube, you can work out for yourself the ideas conjoined from the two faces by Intuition.
Vav at the center of the word Cush, כוש, at once 'unites' all the symbolism associated with the letter Kaph above with that of the letter Shin to follow. A thorough grasp and comprehension of the metaphysical Laws of the Universe, collected in the reservoir of personal consciousness through study, prayer and meditation, will eventually direct our desires to the Perpetual State of Cosmic Consciousness symbolized by the letter Shin.
The third letter of Cush is ש, Shin, meaning 'tooth' or 'fang'. Unlike the first two letters Shin is not scribed as any sort of 'fang', but designed rather to suggest three tongues of flame rising from a base or lake of fire. Its numeral value is 300. One word that comes to surface with value 300 is יצר, yawtzar, 'to form, turn, shape'. On the Tree of Life the letter Shin is assigned to the 31st path. In Sepher Yetzirah the path is named שכל תמידי, Saykel Temidiy, the 'Perpetual Intelligence,' rooted from the adjective תמיד, tamiyd, 'always'. In Tarot the letter Shin is attached to the Judgment Key together with planet Pluto. As one of three important Mother Letters in the Hebrew alphabet, Shin, together with Aleph and Mem, are the axial coordinates within the Cube of Space. A plethora of imagery and inferential implications surround these letters, too much to address here entirely. An intimate familiarity with the Cube construction and assignations, evolved from repeated meditations, is required to transfer all the symbolism into a practical working knowledge. Here it can only be stated succinctly that the Shin coordinate unites the South face assigned the Sun Tarot Key with the North face assigned the Tower. Little imagination is required for a seasoned Qabalist to visualize all this heavenly fire gathered through the combined actions of Shin (Pluto fire), the Sun Key (solar fire), and the Tower Key (Mars fire).
The letter spelling of Cush, כוש, sums to 326. This equals יהשוה, Je-he-sho-wah (an early Hebrew spelling of Jesus). It is formed of Tetragrammaton יהוה with ש at center. The number 326 is also within עירום, eyrim, 'naked'. Who stands naked as illustrated in the Judgement Tarot key, and as the Dancer in The World key? It is us! For when realization comes from the Land of Cush, brought on by inferences of letter Kaph, and intuitive union of Vav, the plutonian, super-conscious fire of final enlightenment strikes us personally as inner lightening to lower consciousness. And it comes from the Sun, the central orb of our solar system, the physical Christ Consciousness and Tiphareth on the Tree of life at the Garden's Center. This is the Second Coming, to each of us individually. This state of awareness is final. The 'quest' is complete and permanently fixed in consciousness. There is an alchemical term for this in Latin, luna fixa, 'fixed luna', which sums up the condition nicely. A reference to luna, the moon, or any other lunar suggestion is indicative of the personal sub-conscious. The Perpetual Intelligence is fixed there in the automatic consciousness. We are one with The One, forever, returned to Eden. Luna fixa sums to 77 by the Latin Cabala Simplex. This is equal to the letters in גיחון, Gihon, the second river.
Moreover, by transposing the letters of Cush, כוש, by temurah the new letters sum to 112. A term equal to 112 from the Latin Cabala Simplex is, gemma pellucida, 'Transparent Jewel'. This is yet another name given the fully maturated pineal gland, one of many names from Rosicrucian and Alchemical writings. This is developed further under the investigation of Genesis 2:14. No recipient of the White Stone would doubt this being כבד אלהים, kabode Elohim, 'the Glory of God' (Proverbs 25:2), from אל אלים, El Eloim, 'the God of Gods' (Daniel 11:36).1 Each phrase sums to 112. Lastly, here at 112, is nasceretur, ‘to be reborn’.
Finally, the ending phrase of verse 2:13, כל ארץ כוש׃, kal aretz Kush, 'the entire (all, whole) land of Cush', sums to 667. This equals שמן למאור, shemen lemawaur, 'oil for lighting'. The 'oil' is the same olivum magnum, 'the great oil', recognized by the Initiated as the Kundalini force. Subsequently, when this force is aroused and activated, it is the principle agent whereby all works of power and influence are manifest. Also totaling 667 is סוד הפעולות, Sod ha-Pehuluth, the 'Secret of Acts' (deeds, operations). There is more to be considered regarding olivum magnum and will be revisited in connection with River Tigris in the next verse. Thus far the Rivers of Our Soul.
1 The different Hebrew spellings for Elohim are the singular and plural forms.